A new show has just gone up. I’ve gone international in ecognition of workers rights around the globe. De Kift from Netherlands complement Against Me, Screeching Weasel, Henry Rollins and Kimya Dawson from the States. UK is represented by Brightons Cat on Form, Cardiff’s Four Letter Word, Sunderlands Leatherface, Bristols Discharge, Caernarfons Anhrefn and Barkings Billy Bragg. I also had to play the Members as they are playing Dublin soon. Japan is there because Go hail from there (not to be confused with the Go! from California who played Ireland on June 1 1991 . Irelend is truly represented by Messiah J and the Experts and tempermental Miss Elayneous.
This is the 12th show. It seems a lot more but hope ya like
1. De kift – wee Mij
2. Against Me – Sink FLorida Sink
3. Cat on Form – Set them on fire with their own matches
4. Four Letter Word – Crimewave
5. Leatherface – Melody Lee
6. Discharge – Protest and survive
7. Anhrefn & One Style MDV – Bankrobber
8. Billy Bragg – There is Power in a union
9. Temper-Mental Misselayneous – Proletrain Restitution
10. Messiah J and The Experts – Seven Cups of coffee and a slice of Apple Strudel
11. Henry Rollins – Black Coffee
12. Go – Pay for it
13. members – sound of the suburbs
14. Screeching Weasel – Hey Suburbia
15. Kimya Dawson/Antsy Pants – Tree Hugger
othered voices (http://farcryproductions.weebly.com/) is a wonderful idea. Brought to people as part of temple bar trad fest it is a left field look at the city and the part we play in todays society.
Tonights gathering of 50 people in a small room on Ormond Quay was a treat. Councillor Mannix Flynn is the curator and he spoke eloquently about the arts speaking for the people and tonights artists were ones that speak from from the heart.
Ophelia McCabe started with a beautiful haunting solo piece. One women and her voice it had us enraptured. She then did two rap pieces and had me muttering (go back to the singing your voice is amazing).
tempermental MissElaynious is a rapper from Finglas and she sure can rap. She puts some amounts of words into each piece. Tonight she was the voice with no backing track, Dublins answer to Benjamin Zephaniah. Cailin Rua was the highlight complete with bodhran.
Jinx was introduced last and he is part punk poet, troubador with slightle eccentric songs. A political Aidan Walsh if you will. One man, a guitar, a beatbox and a penchant for making you think. Jinx sings as he sees it, his job as night porter in a hospital sums him up. You can imagine him with his headphones on making up all sorts of quirky tales about modern life as he sees what life throws at people.
The whole HMV saga has been interestng hasn’t it? I have bought very little in HMV down through the years as I viewed them as the evil big brother. Trying to pofit fomr our scene but ready to trample on it should an alternative way of making money be found. It all stems from Chumbawamba I suppose. They advised us way back when to boycott Thorn EMI and that developed to the excellent only stupid bastards help emi album.. HMV were part of that empire until it had its day and connections were severed. Not by me though.
And it did lots of business, sold a huge amount of cd’s and dvd’s and somewhere along the way bankrupted itself. From what I read the Irish end of the operation seemed to be profitable but currently it is the irish businesses that remain closed. Of course HMV are based in a different jurusdiction and are operating under the laws of that country. They have more shops in the uk than ireland so may wish to get these sorted before here.
The outcry is the one thing that is fascinating me. I never viewed HMV as a record shop, it was a superstore but probably something that is required so that music can reach the masses. it is a bad thing that the high street doesn’t have a record store? There’s always other streets around the corner, these streets are far more interesting anyway.
I wrote a piece a couple of weeks ago (https://culturie.wordpress.com/2012/12/31/heres-to-a-new-year/) “Anytime you think of something that you feel would be a shame if it ceased then support it. In Dublin it was local shops. Let’s support those worth supporting. ” Ironic that a coouple of weeks later after a hugely busy Christmas period that HMV closed its doors and didn’t pay its staff.
If you felt that it was a shame that HMV closed then support other stores you would like to see open, don’t just sign an e-petition and go off to amazon. Think of other places you like and support these too, excuse me I’m off to casa rebelde (http://casarebelde.com/) for some clothes and then chapters (http://chapters.ie/) or Gutter Books (http://www.gutterbookshop.com/) for a read before having some food in the newly opened lurve (http://lurve.ie/)
One of the most interesting things about the TOTP documentary was talk of the Clash and their notorious boycott of the show. They refused to appear and I am sure their record sales suffered to some extent. BBC had their revenge though…and put their troupe of dancers on screen to cavort to Bank Robber when it was stealing (sorry!) up the charts.
But that Clash decision has to be placed in the context of musicians who refused to do something on principle. Something that would help their career, help them sell product. How many acts would actually take a stance that results in lost sales?
Richard Jobson from the Skids said their decision to play the show almost caused the band to break up. Stuart Adamson was furious as he didn’t want to play according to his bandmate. The inspiration of the Clash led to his wish to boycott the show. Jobson talked about the dilemma. It was particularly acute because ‘his friends’ Cook and Jones from the Sex Pistols were telling him to go ahead and play the show…while Adamson was wracked with guilt about it because of the Clash example. The Clash and the Pistols: same era different decisions, different values.
The documentary also discussed how Captain Sensible was told they were off the show if he wore his chosen outfit of a fetching (bridal?) dress! Funny to think of the power wielded by the TOTP producers.
Don’t forget the Gang of Four refused to appear when BBC wanted them to change the lyrics to a song to erase (sorry again, that’s twice) the word rubbers from their song. All of this reminds me of when Krusty the Clown wanted the Red Hot Chili Peppers to tone down their words and they exclaimed what a great idea that was…and then performed the song as written.
I shall continue to think about other bands who have made principled stands. It is a great change from people grabbing at every opportunity for some publicity.
In 1978 two songs (there may have been more) that mentioned Top of the Pops were performed on Top of the Pops. Producer Robin Nash said it was nice to be remembered even if it was irony. Dublin band the Boomtown Rats located their song ‘Rat Trap’ in their native city, where watching Top of the Pops was like literally witnessing a foreign land. In ‘Rat Trap’ little Judy is trying to Top of the Pops but is disturbed by her parents’ arguing. Rock and Pop music in the 1970s was not synonymous with Irish youth.
The song that invoked Top of the Pops most clearly was ‘Everybody’s on Top of the Pops’ by Scottish group The Rezillos. Singer Faye Fife was lucid on the TOTP Story of 1978 admitting that the song was poking fun at the show rather than honouring it. The band were a fantastic glam amalgam of sixties retro-chic/kitsch, pop smarts and all round good fun. I never saw them in their early days, although it should be remembered that they were one of the first ‘new wave’ bands to visit Ireland. Indicating the paucity of live venues at the time they played the Liberty Hall venue. Unions and Punk Rock…the unexpected relationship! Vox Magazine had a good interview with the band who sounded positive despite the violence at the gig. Sadly that was almost expected at the new wave gigs during the era.
I did catch them in the Blackpool Rebellion Festival a couple of years ago and they were incredible. One of the best acts I have seen there. The songs were sharp, tight and energetic. And the band looked like they were having a good time. Really punchy performance. Really memorable performance. Highly recommended.
A couple of interesting facts about the Rezillos:
Early member Jo Callis later joined the Human League where he enjoyed lots of success.
Another early member, David Smythe has a really good section on his website about his involvement with the band. He also has some great information about nuclear power and climate change which are his areas of expertise!
The band were signed by Sire Records who had the Ramones and Talking Heads and toured with the Ramones.
They opened for the Stranglers in Glasgow in 1977.
They were probably the first Scottish ‘new wave’ band to release a single!
I love this quote from David. It sums up what I have always maintained about the music industry. Few things happen by accident. The people who work the hardest and who get co-operation by enthusiastic supporters often make the greatest progress.
“In hindsight, the early success over the next seven or eight months was due to hard work, brilliant art-school publicity, no drugs or groupies, and good organisation. We had enthusiastic volunteers like Alpin Ross-Smith who ran the sound system, and roadies who worked just for the free beer.”
Check out these links for some more insight into the career of one of the most unique bands of the era.
Music and Politics: Johnny Marr
This is a really interesting interview with one of the great guitarists of our time. I always loved how Marr made the guitar sound and how he collaborated with such a variety of acts. I got to see the Smiths a couple of times and was really swept up by the music they created both times. The first time was in Trinity when the Ents Officer Paddy Goodwin brought them over with about one week’s notice. There was little fanfare, and as I recall about 300 people there for one of the best gigs of my life. They were still in excellent form when they came back and played two nights in a SFX.
One quote really stood out for me. And I am putting it at the end of this blog entry. Marr finds fault with the original punk movement and it is great to see it questioned and critiqued. There was a fantastic piece of television on recently: a BBC show about Top of the Pops in 1978. I am going to write about that later. One thing that jumped out was how the BBC producers (who came across as a very conservative bunch) dealt with the punk/new wave bands with strong women singers. For Blondie and Debbie Harry with their pop smarts and her conventional good looks the camera lingered on her. For Siouxsie with more challenging and daring music and a more unconventional appearance the BBC authorities slapped on the special effects and made the band appear spooky and weird. Viv Albertine was her usual insightful and composed self in the documentary, and praised Siousxie for being so commanding and composed. A role model for lots of women who took up music.
“We were of that generation that came after punk and post-punk,” he explains. “We’re grateful for the revolution, but there was a bit of homophobia there, and sexism. There wasn’t in indie. People don’t talk about it now, but it was non-macho. If you were an alternative musician, you were political, because of the times [Thatcherism and the Falklands war]. It was taken for granted that the bands you shared a stage with had the same politics. I’m not sure you could say that now.” Johnny Marr 2013
PS for a great insight into Marr, The Smiths and the second-generation Irish in Britian check out Sean Campbell’s incredible book: Irish Blood, English Hear: Second Generation Irish Musicians in England
New show is streaming live and ready for download. A bit of Geoffrey to start off mixed with classic DC punk rastas Bad Brains, DAn LE Sac gets me dancing across the room with Scroobius Pip. Weakerthans calm things down before Steve Drewett, the neurotics and Attila the stockbroker bring back sweet memories. The Mob were amazing live and Propgogandhi and the evens finish up. Enjoy
1. Geoffrey Oicott – I was Montys Double
2. Bad Brains – I against I
3. Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip – Letter From God To Man
4. The Ex – Listen to the Painters
5. Weakerthans – Elegy for Gump Worsley
6. Steve Drewett and the Indestructable Beat – Capital Radio
7. Newtown Neurotics – Does Anyone Know where the march is
8. Attila The Stockbroker – Washington Bullets
9. The Mob – I hear you laughing
10. Propogandhi – And we think Nation States are a bad idea / utter crap song
11. The Evens – Timothy Wright